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The Road to Now

Bob Crawford (The Avett Brothers) & Dr. Ben Sawyer (MTSU History) share conversations with great thinkers from a variety of backgrounds – historians, artists, legal scholars, political figures and more –who help us uncover the many roads that run between past and present. For more information, visit TheRoadToNow.com If you'd like to support our work, join us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheRoadToNow
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Now displaying: Page 1
Jun 17, 2024

The American Civil War and the end of slavery in the US may seem like one and the same from our modern perspective, but for those living through the conflict, the abolition of human bondage was anything but certain. Even into the last days of the war, slave traders in Confederate-held cities continued to auction off human beings, realizing handsome profits as they imposed violence and family separation on their subjects.

In his new book, An Unholy Traffic: Slave Trading in the Civil War South, Robert K.D. Colby brings together a wide variety of sources to offer up a never-before seen look into the slave trade during the American Civil War. In this episode, he joins Ben and guest co-host Tim Talbott to explain how the slave trade evolved, why slave traders remained confident in the future of slavery even during the Civil War, and how the combined trauma of slavery and war impacted enslaved Americans long after their freedom had been secured.

Robert K.D. Colby is Assistant Professor of History at Ole Miss who specializes in the Civil War and the history of slavery. His newest book, An Unholy Traffic was published by Oxford University Press in April 2024 and is available in both print and audiobook.

Tim Talbott is the Chief Administrative Officer for the Central Virginia Battlefields Trust in Fredericksburg, Virginia and founding member and President of the Battle of New Market Heights Memorial and Education Association. Tim holds a MA in Public History from Appalachian State University, where Ben had the great fortune to study alongside him.

Relevant Links:

·      The Smithsonian Digital Volunteers Transcription Center website

·      RTN Episode 270: Women & American Slavery w/ Stephanie E. Jones Rogers

·      RTN Episode 117: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism w/ Edward Baptist

 

This episode was edited by Ben Sawyer.

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